African Tulip: Bulbul collecting nectar

posted in: Plants | 4

The African tulip (Spathodea campanulata) is a native of tropical West African. It is commonly found growing in this region. Once popular in Singapore for its attractive and colourful flowers, tall trees are now not tolerated along the wayside where … Continued

Forensic birding: Cinnamomum iners

posted in: Feeding-plants, Plants | 1

In February and March 2006 I found many seeds scattered along my driveway (left top). The ones I recognised were palm seeds – MacArthur (Ptychosperma macarthurii) and Alexandra (Archontophoenix alexandrae). The seeds were clean and devoid of their outer fleshy … Continued

Melastoma and flowerpecker I

posted in: Plants | 3

The Malays call the plant sendudok while the early colonial botanists misleadingly named it Singapore rhododendron or straits rhododendron. The plant is neither a rhododendron nor confined to Singapore. In fact it is found throughout Southeast Asian. The scientific name … Continued

Common yellow stem-fig and white-leaved fig

posted in: Plants | 4

I stumbled upon a 2003 paper by Kelvin S-H Peh and Chong Fong Lin, that appeared in the Ornithological Society of Japan’s journal, Ornithological Science 2:119-125. I was fascinated by their observations of two fig species and the birds they … Continued

Dragon’s tail

posted in: Plants | 8

Most of us are familiar with the money plant (Epipremnum aureum). This creeping plant with smallish leaves is a favourite indoor plant, usually placed in a container of water. However, when planted in the ground, the leaves can grow large … Continued


posted in: Plants | 3

Cattail, also known as bulrush (Typha angustifolia) is an aquatic plant with 2 m long, narrow leaves that grow vertically up. The unisexual flowers are small and densely crowded along the end of an equally tall spike. The male flowers … Continued

Starfruit tree

posted in: Plants | 5

The starfruit tree (Averrhoa carambola) grows wild in Java and possibly in Borneo and the Philippines. However, there are people who believe that it originated from tropical America. Whatever its origin, the tree has been in cultivation for centuries and … Continued

Koel, bulbul, myna and noni

posted in: Feeding-plants, Plants | 1

On 21st July 2006 at 3.30 pm, as I was entering my garden to do some weeding, I surprised a male Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) together with a family of Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus) (two adult and a juvenile) that … Continued

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